Mercenaries: A Guide to Private Armies and Private Military Companies

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SAGE Publications, Jan 9, 2014 - Political Science - 440 pages
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Mercenaries have been active in battle from the beginning of military history and, as private armies and military support firms, they are a major component of warfare today.  Security, military advice, training, logistics support, policing, technological expertise, intelligence, transportation—all are outsourced to a greater or lesser degree in the U.S. military.  However, privatization is not a uniquely American phenomenon.  Countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia and Australia rely on privatization in one form or another.  Historically, heads of state, politicians, and other administrators have justified use of mercenaries on the basis of their effectiveness, and cost-savings.  These reasons and others continue to serve as rationales for use of private military companies in military strategy.  

Mercenaries: A Guide to Private Armies and Private Military Companies provides a comprehensive survey and guide to mercenary forces, entrepreneurs, and corporations active on the international military scene today, including a concise history of mercenaries and private armies on land, sea, and in the air.  Narrative chapters are amply supplemented by sidebars including biographies of major figures, key statistics, historical and current documents, contracts, and legislation on private armies and outsourced military services.  Each chapter includes a bibliography of books, journal articles, and web sites, and a general bibliography concludes the entire work.

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About the author (2014)

Alan Axelrod has written many works of military history, including The Real History of the Vietnam War (2012), The Real History of the Civil War (2013), A Savage Empire: Trappers, Traders, Tribes, and the Wars That Made America (2011), Selling the Great War: The Making of American Propaganda (2009), The Real History of the Cold War (2009), Patton’s Drive: The Making of America’s Greatest General (2009), Blooding at Great Meadows: Young George Washington and the Battle That Shaped the Man (2007), The Horrid Pit: The Battle of the Crater, the Civil War’s Cruelest Mission (2007), Miracle at Belleau Wood: The Birth of the Modern U.S. Marine Corps (2007), Bradley: A Biography (2006), and Patton: A Biography (2006). Among his reference books are Political History of America’s Wars (2007), Encyclopedia of Wars (2005), Encyclopedia of the United States Armed Forces (2005), American Treaties and Alliances (2000), and The Macmillan Dictionary of Military Biography (1998).

A former college professor and consultant to numerous museums and cultural institutions, Axelrod has been a featured speaker at the Conference on Excellence in Government (Washington, D.C.), the Leadership Institute of Columbia College (Columbia, South Carolina), and the Annual Conference of the Goizueta School of Business, Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia). He has been a creative consultant (and on-camera personality) for The Wild West television documentary series (Warner Bros., 1993), Civil War Journal (A&E Network, 1994), and The Discovery Channel, and he has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, CNNfn, CNBC, Fox Network affiliates in Philadelphia and Atlanta, and numerous radio news and talk programs, including on National Public Radio. Axelrod lives with his wife, Anita, an artist, in Atlanta and in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.

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